The idea of tea time came to India from the British, but the tradition is still very much alive. I’ve always loved this time of day when visiting my grandmother. She makes it a point to serve tea and also some savory and sweet snacks every afternoon.
This past Sunday was my birthday and I wanted to make something for my friends to enjoy at the party so I decided to make tea sandwiches! Tea sandwiches made in Indian homes and in India usually have some spicey pickle or chutney inside, along with some sort of vegetable, cucumber or boiled potato and softened butter or cream cheese as a spread.
This is my recipe for tea sandwiches with mint chutney cream cheese and cucumber slices. Enjoy!
The mint chutney I made for these sandwiches is really simple and makes about 1 cup. It’s the kind that usually goes with samosas or fried foods and I first had it homemade when visiting my relatives in Delhi. This is my version:
2 cups cilantro leaves and stems (cut just 2 inches below where leaves begin)
1 cup mint leaves
3 green chilis
1 teaspoon cumin powder
pinch of hing or asafoetida
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 teaspoon agave or sugar (optional)
~1/2 cup water
Puree all ingredients in blender and add as much water to get to the consistency you want.
Indian green chilis (if you don’t have can use jalapeno):
Indian Tea Sandwiches
makes about 40 little sandwiches
Loaf of bread (I like any grain or whole wheat variety)
8 ounces softened cream cheese
~4 ounces mint chutney
cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
Mix softened cream cheese and mint chutney. You can add more or less mint chutney depending on taste and have some reserve to spoon a little more on top of the cucumber for extra spice. Add a little salt before closing the sandwich. This is how you make it:
Cut the bread into triangles or rectangles. For a variation, you can toast the bread.